The alarm rings and you roll out of bed, groaning at the thought of another day fighting commuter traffic, sitting in your only semi-comfortable office chair in your little cubicle, hoping that the office refrigerator thief won’t, once again, steal your lunch. And after a long day working under florescent lights and dreaming of an office with at least one small window, you still have to face the long commute home.
Home. Why can't your office be more like home with its comfy couches, great views into your carefully cultivate and beautiful garden, and your refrigerator filled with yummy treats and fresh fruits and vegetables, that are all yours? Why can't you leave your stylish but uncomfortable shoes in the closet in favor of those fluffy pink bunny slippers that you received as Christmas as a joke, but that secretly you may really love. Why can't you simply work at home?
Being able to work at home is the dream many people, and in this day of technological advances that dream is not far out of reach for many. There are more and more opportunities to make a living while sitting on your couch in your pajamas and your slippers. But how do you find these jobs and what types of jobs are available for people who don't want to work in the office or other locations away from home?
The great thing is that with the tools that we now have for telecommuting, you can live in Idaho and yet work for a company based in another state, or even in another country. There are many companies that higher only remote workers, and many others who provide that option for certain types of jobs.
Customer service jobs are probably some of the most plentiful opportunities to work from home. Many major hotel chains use employees working from their own homes to make reservations or to handle their loyalty programs. Sometimes an employee will need to spend a certain number of hours each month in the office, just to say connected on a personal level with their supervisors and fellow employees. After a period of training employees will be provided with the equipment needed to perform their job.
Often, companies that rely on phone sales will allow their employees to handle their sales from home. This allows the company to hire more sales associates, while avoiding the expense of providing office space for each of these employees. Cable and satellite companies, travel and hospitality providers, and technology employers, commonly use home workers to fill out their workforce. One major retail store even uses a work-at-home employee to call repeat customers and let them know personally about sales that are coming up in their store.
Working from home may be a very enticing idea, but working from home brings its own difficulties and distractions. There are many benefits to working at home but the trade-off is that you will miss out on the benefits of working in a company setting. Some people are very independent and disciplined, and find that the home setting allows them to be more productive. But other people find themselves being too distracted by home life, and they actually work better when their physical surroundings allow them to be more focused on their job. Understanding your level of self-discipline, and what things are likely to cost distractions can help you to decide whether working at home is the best choice for you.
If you do work from home, it's a good idea to figure out how the scenario would look that works best for you. For most people, discipline is the most critical trait that they need to develop in order to be a successful work-at-home employee. Some work at home jobs require you to be on the computer or other equipment specific hours and times of the day. Others allow much more freedom, and an employee who has too much freedom may find, if they're not careful, that they have a difficult time getting their work finished by their deadline.
Setting specific times to work, and letting her family and friends know that, even though you are at home, during those hours you are at work, will help you to avoid leaving your work to the last minute. For many people, having a specific area to work that feels like a workstation, helps them to psychologically get into the mode of working. While it is fun to think about working in your pajamas and fluffy pink bunny slippers, if your pajamas make you want to go back to bed, you might consider getting up and getting dressed as if you were going into the office. We all have certain triggers that entice us to do certain things, and for many people, the process of getting dressed and ready for work helps to put them into the frame of mind to get down to the business of producing.
Because working from home does not provide the same interaction with other people that you get from working in the company setting, making sure that you schedule time for professional interaction can invigorate and inspire you in ways that you will not get by remaining solitary.
Some people prefer to have fewer interactions with others as they do their work, and if you are one of these people working from home might be the best option for you. But if you find yourself being lonely, or needing someone to bounce ideas off of, make sure that you provide yourself with opportunities to do so.
Always make sure that you have the tools that you need to fulfill your work obligations before you start. Even getting up and running to the store for a new pen can interrupt the flow of creativity, and can entice you to put off working for just a little while longer. That being said, when you work at home you are just as in need of breaks as you would be if you were working at the job site. Unless your company requires you too work specific hours, you can decide what time of day you are likely to be most productive, and you can schedule your most intense jobs at that time.